So how are your lists? I'll be honest and admit that I didn't spend much time with this last week. So, for me, this will be week two and three!
Week Three - Supplies Week -October 27 to November 1
With my lists in hand, I will begin to inventory my supplies and make a list of items needed. Next, I plan to purchase the non-perishable supplies I need for crafts, baking, wrapping, decorating, and so forth.
One benefit will be spreading out the costs so that the budget isn't groaning.
But more important, to me, is avoiding the frustration of finding that a necessary item is missing when I'm in the middle of a project. Nothing destroys my enthusiasm faster than finding that I don't have all the items I need. I can't just pile the children in the van and go pick up what I need right then so I have to put away the project until later. And with the momentum gone, it is hard to pick it up again.
I'm going to make a special note of some projects that my children ask to do but I say "No, we can't because we don't have..." I'll confess, sometimes I'm inwardly thrilled that I can't do the messy projects that they suggest because I don't have the supplies. Yes, I'm that selfish! My children love things like making houses out of graham crackers and decorating cookies with sprinkles until the floor grits under our feet. I need to let go of my qualms and delight in their joy.
Looking at Preparation in Scripture -
Probably the first verse I think of in Scripture on preparation is Proverbs 30:25.
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;" (Proverbs 30:25)
Proverbs 6 tells us more details about the ant's preparation.
"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8)
Last Friday I canned applesauce, the last of my food preserving for the year. Though the day was long (first kettle on before 6 a.m. and the last off at midnight) and I was exhausted by nightfall, the rows of gleaming jars make the effort worthwhile. I love looking at the pantry shelves and the feeling of being prepared for winter.
I enjoy sharing my garden and food preserving hereon the blog but sometimes I worry that you may look at me as a busy ant and feel like a sluggard - and that is never my goal. We are all in different seasons of life, with different goals, background, and interests. For me, gardening and canning is part of the way I was raised and, usually, I enjoy it. But I don't want to be setting a standard for you that produces guilt.
I don't believe there is anything super spiritual about preserving food - or preparing for Christmas. If it fits into your life and is the way you bless your family - then great! But if you buy your food every week at the grocery store and don't think of Christmas until after Thanksgiving, then don't let me make you feel dissatisfied.
Because the truly important preparation isn't stocking up food for winter.
"Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.
For, lo, He that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind...The LORD, The God of hosts, is His name." (Amos 4:12-13)
And maybe some days, having a prepared heart before God means letting go of my own plans, and delighting the hearts of my children.